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Historically Yours: Area town named after folk hero's sons

Historically Yours: Area town named after folk hero's sons

September 25th, 2018 by Elizabeth Davis in Local News
Elizabeth Davis

Most people have heard of Daniel Boone, one of America's first folk heroes.

Boone, who was born Nov. 2, 1734, in Pennsylvania, was a pioneer, frontiersman, hunter, woodsman and explorer in what would one day become the state of Kentucky.

Two of his sons — Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone — settled in Missouri, just north of the Missouri River about 1807 near a salt spring, or "lick" as it was called in those days. Salt was a valuable commodity, and many trips were made between St. Charles and the town of Franklin that had sprung up near the salt-lick. The road, which ran parallel to the Missouri River between the two towns became known as the Boonslick Road.

About 1810, Hannah Cole, a widow with nine children, along with her brother-ins-law's family, founded the first settlement south of the Missouri River across from Franklin. The town became Boonville, but contrary to popular belief, it was not named after Daniel Boone. It was named after his sons, Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone.

To add more confusion to the mix, Boonville is not in Boone County. It is in Cooper County, which was organized on Dec. 17, 1818, and named after Sarshel Benjamin Cooper. One of Boonville's biggest challenges is explaining to tourists that Boonville is not in Boone County.

There is a Boone County, Missouri, which is just one county east of Cooper County. Named after Daniel Boone, the county was established on Nov. 16, 1820, less than two months after Boone's death Sept. 26.

Although Daniel Boone died almost 200 years ago, I would be remiss if I didn't let readers know that Daniel Boone, (a.k.a. Patrick Lee) will be at Cooper's Ridge, just outside of Boonville, for an 1818 Southern Dinner in October. The fundraiser, Project "Liberty Trees," is sponsored by the Hannah Cole Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Trees are to be planted in Boonville's Walnut Grove Cemetery. David Barton, who wrote Missouri's first constitution and several Revolutionary War veterans are buried there.

Reservations are required and more information is available from Maryellen McVicker at 660-621-2105.

Elizabeth Davis was born and raised in Cooper County, Missouri, and has written Historically Yours for the Boonville Daily News for more than 10 years. She has syndicated her column statewide and encourages readers to submit topic suggestions for future columns to